TVNewser Show TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Green/Sustainability

Not Sure What to Do in the Dark During Earth Hour? Durex has a Suggestion

Durex #TurnOffToTurnOn - OFFICIAL - YouTube-2The lights and TV are off, the router is unplugged, and you’re stuck in the darkened house with your significant other for a whole hour…what, oh what could you possibly do to pass the time? Pick up your cell phones to check Instagram?

Think again.

Condom brand Durex, which recently announced its partnership with the green initiative Earth Hour, has a better suggestion: Use this time to “reconnect with each other whilst the lights are out.” *Wink, Wink*

That means not only unplugging your electric devices, but powering down your mobile ones — the brand’s Turn Off to Turn On campaign maintains that we should take that extra step on March 29, because it’s hard to connect to each other when you’re busy connecting to five different social networks, your text history, and your email (shocker).

In a release, the company muses, “By not only turning off all lights on March 29, 2014, but also switching off all gadgets and gizmos, people can use this opportunity as an excuse to swap their laptops for some loving and ditch their phones to enjoy some foreplay….The wonders of technology help to bring people together, but is it also a key factor in keeping them apart? With today’s couples interacting with their devices more than each other, could gadgets and gizmos be the main reason behind the fact that people are having 20% less sex than in 2000*?”

Very possibly, yes. Read more

Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

San Francisco Thinks Bottled Water Should Tap Out

water bottles

We feel you, bro.

Whoever came up with an idea to sell water, bottle it and charge as much as $5 for it is nothing short of an evil genius, like Wile E. Coyote, only this cat dines on roadrunner stew nightly. The bottled water industry is now a $60 billion industry — annually.

While it’s nice and all healthy-like that all this water is being guzzled, the plastic bottles are causing quite the ecological kerfuffle. To wit, San Francisco has decided it is mad as hell and it’s not going to take it anymore as it prepares to become the first city in U.S. history to ban the sale of any plastic bottles. Anywhere.

Read more

Exxon Mobil CEO Is All for Fracking, But Not in His Backyard

rex-tillersonExxon Mobil‘s website assures the public that when hydraulic fracturing (fracking) takes place, “Throughout the entire unconventional gas life cycle – from exploration to decommissioning – care is taken to minimize the disruption to the community and protect the environment.”

So, there should be no reason for anyone to fear or protest against fracking taking place near their homes, right? Right! Unless, of course, you’re Exxon Mobil’s Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson has joined a lawsuit to halt the construction of a water tower that could be used in the fracking process near his 18-acre Texas homestead. The lawsuit argues that the project would create “a noise nuisance and traffic hazards.”

But according to the Exxon Mobil site, such noise and traffic concerns are tantamount to non-issues:

Read more

Chipotle Goes All In on ‘Factory Farming’ Message with Hulu Mini-Series

Chipotle appears to have taken content marketing to its logical conclusion by producing an online mini-series that never once mentions its own product.

From what we can tell, Farmed and Dangerous—created with NY “branded entertainment” firm Piro—stars Laura Palmer’s dad as a guy who does damage control for the kind of unethical corporate farming interest that earns the strong disapproval of the Chipotle organization. The plot, as seen in the trailer above, revolves around said industrial giant creating a petroleum-based feed for cattle, and it includes at least four half-hour episodes that could be extended into a second “season” if the experiment works.

Read more

Disney Withdraws from Pro-Fracking Elementary School Tour

n-ROCKING-IN-OHIO-large570Upon hearing that Disney was bringing an educational program to Ohio elementary schools, a few possibilities of what the program might look like came to mind: Princesses preaching the power of love? Talking animals touting the importance of friendship? Nope; this was three representatives from Radio Disney explaining the importance and benefits of the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Last month, a program called Rocking in Ohio, which was led by three Radio Disney staffers and entirely funded by the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (a lobbying group paid for by oil and gas companies), performed a series of events at 26 elementary schools across the state, educating students about the process and benefits of fracking.

Read more

Another Day, Another Monsanto GMO Protest

OK, OK...We don’t envy Monsanto right now. Sure, it’s a super-wealthy international “biotech corporation” that touts its seeds, pesticides and other products as part of the “sustainable agriculture” movement, but a fairly big slice of the public came out over the weekend in several cities around the world to show much it really hates the company for using GMOs (that’s genetically modified organisms to you, sir) in its products.

This is the second global protest against Monsanto; the first, in May, included endorsements from such celebrity luminaries as Bill Maher, Dave Matthews and Danny DeVito, who we will continue to call “Frank”. At the end of the day, it’s a messaging war: are GMOs a solution to global hunger or a way to poison the public in the name of profits?

The “March Against Monsanto” organization posted a press release explaining its complaints: “GMOs are not adequately monitored to ensure public safety” and Monsanato acts to “suppress any research containing results not in their favor” and avoid complying with any labeling requirements.

Now for the PR: how can Monsanto counter its current status as everyone’s least favorite evil corporation?

Read more

Coal Rep’s Climate Change Spin Sparks PR Ethics Debate

How does a PR rep handle the conflict inherent in representing The Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports, an organization created to increase coal exportation in the northwest US, with a history working for the EPA? The two organizations could not be more ideologically opposed to one another.

In this extremely off-the-record clip, Edelman VP Lauri Hennessey tells coal industry marketers how she navigates around the issue by using her EPA past to convince environmentally concerned audiences that more coal exports would not contribute to climate change. A couple of things are clear:


The clip may be a hit piece, but it’s also a revealing look into the way spin works in one particular case.

Read more

Patagonia Claims to Sacrifice Profits for Social Responsibility

Crunchy.Granola clothing brand Patagonia‘s success tells the tale of a company that turned corporate social responsibility into big profits, but now they’ve launched a campaign called “The Responsible Economy“ designed to convince anyone who’ll listen that they care more about the former than the latter.

Oh, really?

The ad on the left appeared in The New York Times during Fashion Week, and it’s just the latest step in Patagonia’s ongoing drive to define itself as the very antithesis of what it really is—a big, popular company that recently celebrated its 40th year spent selling pricey outdoor wear.

The point of this ad was to highlight a new initiative that fits within the larger campaign by giving customers store credit to trade in old clothes before the company “reconditions” them and sells them as used or “worn ware.”

Here’s proof they’re not messing around:

Read more

Public Grows More Skeptical of Brands’ ‘Green’ Claims

If you think it, then it might as well be true.

The big takeaway from the latest “Green Gauge” survey from global research company GfK shouldn’t surprise you: consumers are growing more and more skeptical of brands’ green claims.

The depth of the public’s confusion and distrust, however, is worth noting:

  • 22% of consumers aren’t sure about the accuracy of environmental claims made by brands (that’s a 200% increase over the past five years)
  • 10% don’t know how well companies carry out their “environmental responsibilities” (a 300% increase over the same time period)
We feel like these numbers are too low, because 100% of consumers should be “unsure” of environmental claims made in ad and marketing content. (You can blame our cynicism and our experience in marketing and PR.)

Maybe these consumers are just afraid to admit how little they know.

Read more

Animal Rights Groups Help Inspire Hong Kong Shark Fin Soup Ban

At some point, all those “green” PR stunts might just pay off.

Over the years, groups ranging from the World Wildlife Foundation to Wildaid, The Humane Society International and Save Our Seas have mounted campaigns designed to raise awareness about the process of “finning”, or capturing sharks in bulk and cutting their fins off for consumption.

Chinese restaurants and pharmacies have long marketed cartilage-based shark fin soup as a cure-all that prevents everything from impotence to cancer, but its popularity has also led to a shortage in the world’s shark population that spurred animal rights groups to take action.

While the soup remains a popular delicacy at weddings, the campaigns of groups like WWF Hong Kong seem to be working.

Read more

NEXT PAGE >>